: More than 50% nurses working in general wards and Intensive Care Units (ICUs) of the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) are suffering from moderate to high level of stress. Young and single nurses, less than 35 years, experience more stress than others.
The study ‘Stress, stress reactions, job stressors, and coping among nurses working in ICUs and general wards of a tertiary care hospital: A comparative study’ was published in the institute’s journal.
Conducted at the PGIMER, the study included 285 nurses working in two units — General wards (female and male surgical wards, female and male medical wards) and Intensive Care Units (coronary care unit, respiratory ICU, liver ICU, cardiothoracic and vascular surgery ICU, and paediatric ICU).
Each nurse was interviewed for as long as 30 minutes and the entire data collection took around two months. The mean stress scores was categorised into three categories as low stress (below 33 percentile), moderate stress (33-66 percentile), and high stress (more than 66 percentile).
It was found that more than 50% nurses were suffering from stress. “Moderate stress level was present among 57.8% ICU nurses, while high stress was present among 54.5% nurses working in wards,” mentions the study, adding that younger nurses experienced high stress in comparison to the elderly.
When it comes to younger nurses, it was found that 67.7% working in general wards and 97.8% working in ICUs experienced moderate level of stress. On the other hand, nurses above 35 years of age experienced only 50 % and 54% of stress in wards and ICUs, respectively.
“The ICU nurses who are designated as Sister Grade-2 are young, single (58.7%), and have no children (65.2%), and used to walk to their workplace experienced more stress than their counterparts in wards. Probably, because young unmarried nurses are given more complex patient assignments coupled with the new and changing technology,” the study mentions.
Among job stressors, workload, role ambiguity and lack of social support accounted for significant amount of stress among nurses. “Job challenge accounted maximum of variance in total stress (43.2% and 46.2%), followed by workload (20.4%, 21%) among ward and ICU nurses respectively,” mentions the study.